|Who will be the number 1 pick?|
The day of reckoning comes for Cebu prized-find June Mar Fajarado and 56 other aspirants as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) holds its Annual Rookie Draft today at the Midtown Robinson’s Place Manila.
Petron owns the top pick in this year’s proceeding -- the first official activity of Asia’s pioneering pro league for its 38th season – and not unless the franchise has a last minute change of heart, is set to tab the 6-foot-10 Fajardo from University of Cebu as the no. 1 overall selection.
The first pick is one of two top five selections of the Boosters in the first round as they also get their turn at no. 3 following Alaska at no. 2. Meralco and Barako Bull follow next at no. 4 and 5, respectively.
The event also marks the first official function of new franchise Global Port Batang Pier of owner Mikee Romero. The Sultan Capital 900 Inc, which brought the Coca-Cola Bottlers Inc. Powerade team, was formally accepted by the PBA Board last Friday.
Batang Pier, with interim coach Glenn Capacio at the helm, has a lone first round pick at no. 10.
Completing the selection process in the first round of the Draft presented by Agantea, Banana Leaf, and Tully’s Coffee, are Ginebra at no. 6, Rain or Shine (7th), Ginebra (8th), and B-Meg (9th).
Originally pegged at a total of 71 rookie applicants, the list has been trimmed to just 57 on Thursday, but remains rich in talent in what many perceives as one of the deepest Drafts in recent years.
Among those being prominently mentioned include reigning NCAA MVP Calvin Abueva, former Smart Gilas team captain Chris Tiu, Aldrech Ramos, Vic Manuel, Dave Marcelo, Jewel Ponferada, Eman Monfort, Jan Colina, Lester Alvarez, Janus Lozada, Jerick Canada, and Fil-Ams Cliff Hodge, Chris Ellis, Jason Deutchman, Charles Keith Jansen, and Alex Mallari.
The order of selection in the second round will have Air21 picking first, followed by B-Meg at 12th and 13th, respectively, then Global Port (14th), Barako (15th and 16th), Rain or Shine (17th), Barako Bull (18th), Alaska (19th) and Talk `N Text (20th).
League commissioner Chito Salud will preside over the program that starts at 4 p.m. together with Board chairman Robert Non of Ginebra San Miguel. (Dave Coros)
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